Most of us intend on becoming more intentional in 2020 but sometimes, the intention stops at the intent. (Yes I intended to include every variation of this word in one sentence).
I have mixed opinions about New Years Resolutions. I used to be an avid New Years Resolutionist, every New Year I’d write my list then by January 31, I’ve lost my New Year resolution mojo and feeling rather disheartened that I can’t maintain all of the to do list. Thus, triggering anxiety, stress and mentally throwing around some unkind words in my head.
Although inspiring, goal setting when done with force can sometimes become counter productive. Encouraging a sense of lack as opposed to a state of ‘I am enough’.
Intention setting can be different to goal setting in the sense that they are not finite. Intentions are vast in nature and offer a doorway of how you wish to become, the life you wish to live and the example you wish to have on those around you. Intentions are an embodiment of your values, morals and ideas, not necessarily a myriad of to do’s you wish to accomplish or objects you wish to attain. It is in this potency of crafting your intentions that you can gradually start to change your lifestyle and your thinking.
In Yogic philosophy, the sanskrit word Sankalpa refers to a heartfelt desire, a vow to oneself, a deep intention that blooms inside of you through stilling the mind and listening to the calls of the heart. This is where our deep intentions lie dormant, whispering ever so softly to us, until we stop to not only listen, but feel our Sankalpa.
And so, it is in the Will of discovering our innate Sankalpa, that we can carve out what no longer has resonance with the highest version of ourselves, the bits of us that are ready to drop away – to create space for new resolutes to form, to take us to the next level of our existence.
Personally, Yoga and meditation has been the catalyst in allowing my intentions to come through. A regular practice can be the cornerstone in developing lifelong, healthy and achievable intentions as it helps us to look inwards to seek the answers we need.
Here are 6 ways you can create a more intentional year in 2020 and perhaps unravel your Sankalpa.
1. Cultivate quiet reflective time to yourself
This is a non negotiable to be able to understand your deeper intentions. Any form of yoga and meditation practice is a beautifully effective way of creating this time for yourself to ponder the person you know you already are, beyond the layers and masks you may wear.
2. Discover what motivates you
Often we have to build up motivation to do something, instead spend time on the activities that move you organically. Is there one (or a few) thing(s) in your life that you enjoy doing where it feels time does not exist. This is one area of life we often ignore and procrastinate with, when really, activities that stop time unlock our creative power. Channeling this energy is an effective way to discover your true intentions, your Sankalpa.
3. Write down
The power of taking action to externalise your heartfelt desires on paper can take your intentions from mere thoughts to powerful manifestation. When you document your intentions you are creating a clear intent to your subconscious and conscious parts of yourself that this is who you really are and ready to become. Read it regularly.
4. Practice what you preach
It is easy to say one thing and do another, even if we mean well with our intentions. Sometimes the biggest one-off physical action doesn’t always equate to lasting change. Taking small progressive daily steps in the right direction will ultimately create a chain reaction allowing your intention or Sankalpa to become part of your being through repetition.
5. Celebrate your victories
Notice how your day or week unfolds when you are aligning yourself with your truest intentions. Your Satya or “truthfulness”. How does it make you feel when you are operating in this state versus when you may have gone off track? Witnessing these different states can be profound moments of clarity to keep propelling forward with your lifelong intentions of becoming a more intentional You.
6. Reflect on the year and keep going
Just because the year comes to an end doesn’t mean that our intentions do too!. Learn from the year that was and refine what has and hasn’t served you. Ask yourself if you enjoyed curating a different path? Did your environment and relationships change because you focused on becoming more intentional about who you spend your time with, what food you choose to eat or how you spend your money? If so, did your thoughts change and were you able to feel more elevated states of joy, fulfilment, connection or purpose?
Pondering our actions can be a fundamental way of developing and infusing intentions that last. Intentions are limitless and only you know deep down what is in resonance with your true Self.
By discovering our deeper intentions and understanding our Sankalpa, we mould the person we wish to become by choosing how we think, how we spend our time, spend our money and how this may impact the environment around us.
“The real thesis of Yoga is not that you get your health, your wellbeing, your inner peace from outside yourself which is what our culture often teaches us. But rather, we have it already and then the question becomes, what am I doing that’s disturbing that? As opposed to how can I get something that I don’t already have?” Unknown